Does My Spouse Have to File for Bankruptcy Too?
Filing for bankruptcy is a huge decision, and it’s natural to worry about how it will impact your spouse.
Will they have to file for bankruptcy too?
The answer depends on the type of bankruptcy you are filing, as well as the laws in your state. It’s important to understand the implications of filing jointly or separately so you can make an informed decision that is best for both you and your spouse.
Joint Bankruptcy Filings
If you are married, you have the option of filing jointly with your spouse. This means that all debts and assets will be considered together when filing. If one spouse has more debt than the other, then both spouses will still be responsible for paying back those debts even if they filed separately.
While joint filing may sound like a simple solution, it’s important to consider any potential consequences that could arise from this decision. For example, if one spouse has significantly better credit than the other, their credit score might be negatively impacted after joint filing.
Separate Bankruptcy Filings
For some couples, separate filings may be the better option. This means that each spouse files individually and is only liable for their debts and assets. This can help protect one spouse from being held responsible for another’s debt or having their credit affected by a joint filing. It also allows each person to choose which type of bankruptcy works best for them individually—for instance, if one needs Chapter 7 but the other needs Chapter 13.
Keep in mind that there are some drawbacks to separate filings as well, such as double court costs and attorney fees or a lack of asset protection when filing separately (as opposed to jointly).
Additionally, creditors may still pursue payment from both spouses regardless of whether they filed jointly or separately. To decide which option is right for you, speak with a qualified bankruptcy attorney who understands the legal implications in your specific state or jurisdiction.
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